I’ve received several specific invitations from the Lord for the month of February; a deepened prayer life, blogging daily to share how He’s working in and through me, and reading through the Gospels (the first four books of the New Testament) for the (20th? 30th?) time.
The beautiful thing is, these truly feel like an invitation not an expectation.
And that perspective itself shows me I’m growing; that I don’t see the Lord as mainly disappointed when I fail to finish a checklist of holiness, but a Friend who delights in getting to share His heart with me.
Here’s some truth about Jesus from the Gospel of Mark I’m gleaning:
“But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.”And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons. Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.”
This account so clearly displays both the mercy and boldness Christ operated in: He scandalously and humbly reached out and touched the man with leprosy.
Although the healing came after Christ, in passionate authority, spoke, first, He touched the man.
Showing that Christ wasn’t afraid of the gravity of the affliction and its potency to infect and spread; He reached out, and touched the unwellness. He knew His power was greater, and in His perpetual willingness, His ability to spread wellness far outweighed any power of danger in the spread of disease.
What a wonderful Savior. Reaching out a scandalous touch for the sake of wholeness.
Also, Mark 8:22-26
“Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly.”
Again, Jesus touched the man in his infirmity.
And again, what’s interesting is that vision didn’t come as soon as Jesus grabbed his hand, but the man, still blind, allowed Jesus to lead him.
Jesus holds us by the hand in our infirmity. In our weakness and fragility and obscured vision, if we let Him, He leads us. He brings restorations to the blindness and wholeness to the lack, but sometimes not all at once. Often, progressively.
What a wonderful God. Not losing patience at healing that lacks immediacy, but wanting to lead us by the hand into more and more freedom.